Tornadoes’ poultry death toll exceeds 1 million in Mississippi
Eighteen farms in four Mississippi counties experienced major damage from tornadoes
An estimated 1,044,800 birds were killed or lost in Mississippi after tornadoes struck on April 28. Eighteen farms received substantial losses from the storms, according to Dr. Jim Watson, state veterinarian for the Mississippi Board of Animal Health.
Watson said on May 5 that among those 18 farms, a total of 28 poultry houses were damaged and 48 were destroyed.
“No hatcheries or processing facilities were hit. Most were broiler farms, but there were a handful of breeder farms,” Watson said.
The damage was “fairly localized,” Watson said, with all of the poultry farm tornado damage reported in Scott, Newton, Winston and Wayne Counties. The most recent storm-related poultry loss figures do not include the storms that hit the state in the earlier part of April, he added.
Tyson Foods assisting producers, communities hit by storms
Eight poultry farms hit by tornadoes were growers for Tyson Foods, according to Gary Mickelson, director of public relations, Tyson Foods. Team members from Tyson Foods have been assisting those farmers with cleanup efforts and are hoping the producers will be able to soon begin rebuilding.
Tyson Foods has been providing tornado relief in other ways. The company has provided disaster relief to communities in Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Kansas and Tennessee that sustained major tornado damage. Tyson’s Meals that Matter disaster relief trailer was sent to Central Arkansas, and the company sent food, ice and cooking teams to other affected areas, Donnie Smith, CEO of Tyson Foods said during a May 4 conference call.
Tyson employees have also pledged financial assistance, with the company matching its workers’ contributions to the American Red Cross, up to $100,000.
“I’m proud of our team members and their willingness to help and make a difference in the aftermath of these storms,” said Smith.